Monday, October 25, 2010

Puff Pastry is my Nemesis

Apologies for my blatant lack of posting! I had a disgusting cold last week, so my days went something like this:
8 hours school
8 hours work
8 hours sleep

Blogging, eating, showering, and interacting with humans took a backseat. Ok, ok, I did shower... a couple of times.

Now I'm in a new class: Classical French Pastry. I've learned so far in school that "Classical" is a code word for "the most tedious, old-fashioned way to do things possible". We've spent the past 2 days making puff pastry, which is an incredibly laborious process that goes something like this:
  • Make a detrempe (a basic dough) and let it chillax in the fridge
  • Place a phone book-sized block of butter in the middle of the detrempe and wrap the dough around the butter to make a lovely little butter envelope. Roll it out.
  • Chillax in fridge.
  • Put the butter envelope in the sheeter.*
  • Fold dough like a letter. Chillax in fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Repeat previous 2 steps 2037520 times.
  • Use dough to make something deliciously flaky and butter-laden. Proceed to the elliptical ASAP.

*A sheeter is a bakery device that could be easily confused with medieval torture equipment. It essentially is sort of a convey er belt-ish thing that flattens and rolls your dough out for you. There are "Stop," "Go," and "Reverse" buttons that operate the conveyor belt... sort of. Let's just say that more than one piece of puff pastry went flying across the room... it was sort of like I Love Lucy and the chocolates.

As you can see, the process above is heinously tedious. Finally, after literally hours of preparing dough, we made sacristans (little almond twisty pastries).

You can imagine my despair when this happened:


For the record, I was not the one responsible for monitoring the done-ness of the pastries. Even so, a little part of my soul died when I saw my tiny sacristans swimming in a pool of their own butter - burnt on the outside, raw on the inside.

I feel much less judgemental toward all of those Top Chef contestants that buy pre-made puff pastry dough now. But... mark my words, I WILL OWN THIS PUFF PASTRY. Fortunately, we started making two more batches today, so it looks like I'll get some more practice.

1 comment:

  1. Are you saying that you want a sheeter for Christmas - do you think I need one (I don't think that I already have one)
    I love a woman with a mission